MVSKOKE RESERVATION – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation has recently been designated a Purple Heart Reservation. On Aug. 14, during the MCN National Council Regular Session Tribal Resolution 23-084 was approved by a unanimous vote.
The legislation was sponsored by Representative Mark Randolph and was initiated by Mvskoke citizen and Vietnam Veteran Micheal Coon and Mitch Reed, the Senior Vice Commander for the Department of Oklahoma for the Order of the Purple Heart. The designation is given out by the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) as a symbolic show of support for sacrifices made by wounded veterans.
The MOPH is a congressionally-chartered organization for military veterans. The organization was formed in 1932 and is composed of combat veterans who have received the Purple Heart, one of the oldest military decorations. The Purple Heart is presented to service men and women who have been wounded in combat.
The organization operates several programs aiding veterans including the Purple Heart Trail. According to the MOPH, the trail was established in 1992 as a way not only to honor medal recipients, but also to serve as a symbolic reminder of the sacrifice service men and women have made.
The trail is composed of the roads, highways, bridges, and monuments that have been designated through legislation as part of the trail. Trails are indicated through road signage that has a green background and an image of the purple heart medal.
They are found all over the country and the designation is usually through municipalities. Several cities and towns in Oklahoma that are part of the trail include Jenks, Broken Arrow, and Del City. But it isn’t just municipalities that can be a Purple Heart locality, colleges can also become part of the trail and have the designation of Purple Heart Universities. Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Rogers State University, and the University of Tulsa are also part of the trail.
The Mvskoke Reservation is not the first Oklahoma Native American reservation to become part of the network; it joins the Osage Nation and Cherokee Nation.
In part, the resolution reads,
“171 Muscogee (creek) citizens have been awarded the Purple HEart medal, 59 were killed in action or died from wounds in action and 112 were wounded by an instrument of war, by an enemy, during conflict; and Muscogee (Creek) Nation would like to recognize and declare our appreciation for the service and sacrifices… “
During the session, Coon, a fierce advocate for veterans’ issues, stated that the vote was a show of support for veterans,
“…it shows our nation that we support our veterans. We have 119 purple hearts in our nation and I think for the way they were treated when they came home, not like WW2, but the rest of us on down the line, as far as being called baby killers and every kind of thing you can think of in our service and being proud of our nation and our uniform… this shows the nation we support our 119 veterans for what they sacrificed for our nation, for our safety, for our national council, our chief and second chief and I just think it’s a great honor for our national council to step up to the plate and approve this for our veterans and… they can still hold their head up high knowing the nation is a Purple Heart Nation.”